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2023 Oscars Best International Feature Predictions

Decision to Leave

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Nov. 22, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best International Feature

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

CATEGORY COMMENTARY:

There has been a change in the way Academy members vote for the best international feature category. It could produce surprise inclusions and shocking snubs once the 15-film shortlist is announced on Dec. 21.

For the first time, members who opted to vote in the best international feature race will rank their favorites from one to 15. This is a significant change from previous years, where the voters would rate each of their selections on a scale from 7-10. The old method didn’t force the voting member to weigh what’s actually “the best” of the crop. Unlike sites like IMDB or Letterboxd that have users rate their movies on a one to ten scales, having a movie’s lowest possibility of being a seven creates a world where “everyone receives a participation trophy.” This isn’t the SATs where you get credit just for putting your name on the paper.

Nevertheless, how will this affect the movies vying for a nom?

This year, 92 international features (although all still need to be qualified) could be vying for Oscar’s attention. It’s not known which members opt-in from the 18 various branches. With just over 9,600 eligible voters this year, an industry source says that just over 1,000 voters opted into the category.

In contrast to a significant category like best picture, where voters are encouraged to watch as many films as possible, the rules for international feature differ. The Academy has taken the 92 features and divided them into 11 groups. Four of which have nine films, while the others have eight. Each member selected to vote in the category this year is assigned to one of the 11 groups. To vote, a member must watch every film in their group at a minimum. Then, they can vote for any of the 92 features in contention. It should be noted this method operates on an honor system.

Saint Omer

Like the best picture category, the preferential voting method doesn’t necessarily reward “the best” rather than “the most liked.” It’s no longer just about the no. 1 votes, but what films are skirting in with lots of number twos and threes. However, “safe” a film may be in the race, you can never count out the Academy making a glaring omission, as seen with snubs such as “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days” (2007), which brought about “the save,” in which the committee could choose one film to move onto to the next round of nomination voting.

The field is stacked with hot and heavy titles from various countries, such as “All Quiet on the Western Front” from Germany, “Close” from Belgium and “Decision to Leave” from South Korea. Films such as these generate passion and will likely be at the top of many ballots.
Films that have proven to be more divisive such as “Bardo” from Mexico could be on the top of multiple lists but not listed on any others.

Movies that seem more “middle-of-the-road” in the race, such as “Corsage” from Austria, “Argentina, 1985” from Argentina and “EO” from Poland, could be in the top half of multiple ballots. Voters are still more likely to seek it out, even if it’s not in their assigned group.

This change could prove to be one of the more surprising shortlists announcements in years. In the past few years, shockers such as “Better Days” (2020) from Hong Kong made the shortlist after the little buzz and were nominated in their respective years.

Remembering that this category, along with documentary feature, often reflects what movies were the “most watched,” not necessarily “the best films of the crop.” If a voter has heard of it, they’re more likely to sneak into the fray. Which quiet features will that be this year?

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.

To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.

See the Golden Globe predictions in all of the film categories.

See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

Reiner Bajo

And The Predicted Nominees Are:
Rank Name Director(s) Country
1 “Close” Lukas Dhont Belgium (OFFICIAL)
The intense friendship between two thirteen-year old boys Leo and Remi suddenly gets disrupted. Struggling to understand what has happened, Léo approaches Sophie, Rémi’s mother. “Close” is a film about friendship and responsibility.
2 “Holy Spider” Ali Abbasi Denmark (OFFICIAL)
A journalist descends into the dark underbelly of the Iranian holy city of Mashhad as she investigates the serial killings of sex workers by the so called “Spider Killer”, who believes he is cleansing the streets of sinners.
3 “Saint Omer” Alice Diop France (OFFICIAL)
Follows Rama, a novelist who attends the trial of Laurence Coly at the Saint-Omer Criminal Court to use her story to write a modern-day adaptation of the ancient myth of Medea, but things don’t go as expected.
4 “Decision to Leave” Park Chan-wook South Korea
(OFFICIAL)
A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains meets the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.
5 “All Quiet on the Western Front” Edward Berger Germany (OFFICIAL)
A young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.
Next in Line
6 “Argentina, 1985” Santiago Mitre Argentina (OFFICIAL)
A team of lawyers take on the heads of Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship during the 1980s in a battle against odds and a race against time.
7 “Corsage” Marie Kreutzer Austria (OFFICIAL)
A fictional account of the later years of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. On Christmas Eve 1877, Elisabeth turns 40 and is officially deemed an old woman and starts trying to maintain her public image, once idolized for her beauty.
8 “EO” Jerzy Skolimowski Poland (OFFICIAL)
Follows a donkey who encounters on his journeys good and bad people, experiences joy and pain, exploring a vision of modern Europe through his eyes.
9 “Klondike” Maryna Er Gorbach Ukraine (OFFICIAL)
The story of a Ukrainian family living on the border of Russia and Ukraine during the start of the war. Irka refuses to leave her house even as the village gets captured by armed forces. Shortly after they find themselves at the center of an international air crash catastrophe on July 17, 2014.
10 “Joyland” Saim Sadiq Pakistan (OFFICIAL)
As the happily patriarchal Rana family craves for the birth of a baby boy, the youngest of the Rana men secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and finds himself falling for a fiercely ambitious trans starlet. Their impossible love story slowly illuminates the entire Rana family’s desire for a sexual rebellion.
Other Top-Tier Contenders (Short List Cut Off)
11 “Return to Seoul” Davy Chou Cambodia (OFFICIAL)
12 “Last Film Show” Pan Nalin India (OFFICIAL)
13 “Alcarràs” Carla Simón Spain (OFFICIAL)
14 “The Quiet Girl” Colm Bairéad Ireland
(OFFICIAL)
15 “Cairo Conspiracy” Tarik Saleh Sweden (OFFICIAL)
Also In Contention
16 “Utama” Alejandro Loayza Grisi Bolivia (OFFICIAL)
17 “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” Alejandro G. Iñárritu Mexico (OFFICIAL)
18 “A Piece of Sky” Michael Koch Switzerland
(OFFICIAL)
19 “Girl Picture” Alli Haapasalo Finland (OFFICIAL)
20 “Beautiful Beings” Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson Iceland (OFFICIAL)
21 “Eternal Spring” Jason Loftus Canada (OFFICIAL)
22 “Goddamned Asura” Lou Yi-an Taiwan
(OFFICIAL)
23 “Nostalgia” Mario Martone Italy (OFFICIAL)
24 “Where the Wind Blows” Philip Yung Hong Kong (OFFICIAL)
25 “Mars One” Gabriel Martins Brazil (OFFICIAL)
All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)
“A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On” Gentian Koçi Albania (OFFICIAL)
“Our Brothers” Rachid Bouchareb Algeria (OFFICIAL)
“Argentina, 1985” Santiago Mitre Argentina (OFFICIAL)
“Aurora’s Sunrise” Inna Sahakyan Armenia (OFFICIAL)
“You Won’t Be Alone” Goran Stolevski Australia (OFFICIAL)
“Corsage” Marie Kreutzer Austria (OFFICIAL)
“Creators” Shamil Aliyev Azerbaijan (OFFICIAL)
“Hawa” Mejbaur Rahman Sumon Bangladesh (OFFICIAL)
“Close” Lukas Dhont Belgium (OFFICIAL)
“Utama” Alejandro Loayza Grisi Bolivia (OFFICIAL)
“A Ballad” Aida Begić Bosnia and Herzegovina (OFFICIAL)
“Mars One” Gabriel Martins Brazil (OFFICIAL)
“In the Heart of the Machine” Martin Makariev Bulgaria (OFFICIAL)
“Return to Seoul” Davy Chou Cambodia (OFFICIAL)
“The Pianter’s Plantation” Dingha Young Eystein Cameroon (OFFICIAL)
“Eternal Spring” Jason Loftus Canada (OFFICIAL)
“Blanquita” Fernando Guzzoni Chile (OFFICIAL)
“Nice View” Wen Muye China (OFFICIAL)
“The Kings of the World” Laura Mora Ortega Colombia (OFFICIAL)
“Domingo and the Mist” Ariel Escalante Costa Rica (OFFICIAL)
“Safe Place” Juraj Lerotić Croatia (OFFICIAL)
“Il Boemo” Petr Václav Czech Republic (OFFICIAL)
“Holy Spider” Ali Abbasi Denmark (OFFICIAL)
“Bantú Mama” Ivan Herrera Dominican Republic (OFFICIAL)
“Lo Invisible” Javier Andrade Ecuador (OFFICIAL)
“Kalev” Ove Musting Estonia (OFFICIAL)
“Girl Picture” Alli Haapasalo Finland (OFFICIAL)
“Saint Omer” Alice Diop France (OFFICIAL)
“A Long Break” Davit Pirtskhalava Georgia (OFFICIAL)
“All Quiet on the Western Front” Edward Berger Germany (OFFICIAL)
“Magnetic Fields” Yorgos Goussis Greece (OFFICIAL)
“The Silence of the Mole” Anäis Taracena Guatemala (OFFICIAL)
“Where the Wind Blows” Philip Yung Hong Kong (OFFICIAL)
“Blockade” Ádám Tõsér Hungary (OFFICIAL)
“Beautiful Beings” Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson Iceland (OFFICIAL)
“Last Film Show” Pan Nalin India (OFFICIAL)
“Ngeri-Ngeri Sedap” Bene Dion Rajagukguk Indonesia (OFFICIAL)
“World War III” Houman Seyyedi Iran (OFFICIAL)
“The Exam” Shawkat Amin Korki Iraq (OFFICIAL)
“The Quiet Girl” Colm Bairéad Ireland (OFFICIAL)
“Cinema Sabaya” Orit Fouks Rotem Israel (OFFICIAL)
“Nostalgia” Mario Martone Italy (OFFICIAL)
“Plan 75” Chie Hayakawa Japan (OFFICIAL)
“Farha” Darin J. Sallam Jordan (OFFICIAL)
“Life” Emir Baigazin Kazakhstan (OFFICIAL)
“TeraStorm” Andrew Kaggia Kenya (OFFICIAL)
“Looking for Venera” Norika Sefa Kosovo (OFFICIAL)
“Home for Sale” Taalaibek Kulmendeev Krygyzstan (OFFICIAL)
“January” Viestur Kairish Latvia (OFFICIAL)
“Memory Box” Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige Lebanon (OFFICIAL)
“Pilgrims” Laurynas Bareiša Lithuania (OFFICIAL)
“Icarus” Carlo Vogele Luxembourg (OFFICIAL)
“Carmen” Valerie Buhagiar Malta (OFFICIAL)
“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” Alejandro G. Iñárritu Mexico (OFFICIAL)
“Carbon” Ion Borș Moldova (OFFICIAL)
“Harvest Moon” Amarsaikhan Baljinnyam Mongolia (OFFICIAL)
“The Elegy of Laurei” Dušan Kasalica Montenegro (OFFICIAL)
“The Blue Caftan” Maryam Touzani Morocco (OFFICIAL)
“Butterfly on the Windowpane” Sujit Bidari Nepal (OFFICIAL)
“Narcosis” Martijn de Jong Netherlands (OFFICIAL)
“Muru” Tearepa Kahi New Zealand (OFFICIAL)
“The Happiest Man in the World” Teona Strugar Mitevska North Macedonia (OFFICIAL)
“War Sailor” Gunnar Vikene Norway (OFFICIAL)
“Joyland” Saim Sadiq Pakistan (OFFICIAL)
“Mediterranean Fever” Maha Haj Palestine (OFFICIAL)
“Birthday Boy” Arturo Montenegro Panama (OFFICIAL)
“Eami” Paz Encina Paraguay (OFFICIAL)
“Moon Heart” Aldo Salvini Peru (OFFICIAL)
“On the Job: The Missing 8” Erik Matti Philippines (OFFICIAL)
“EO” Jerzy Skolimowski Poland (OFFICIAL)
“Alma Vivia” Cristèle Alves Meira Portugal (OFFICIAL)
“Immaculate” Monica Stan, George Chiper Romania (OFFICIAL)
“Raven Song” Mohamed Al-Salman Saudi Arabia (OFFICIAL)
“Xalé” Moussa Sene Absa Senegal (OFFICIAL)
“Darkling” Dušan Milić Serbia (OFFICIAL)
“Ajoomma” He Shuming Singapore (OFFICIAL)
“Victim” Michal Blaško Slovakia (OFFICIAL)
“Orchestra” Matevž Luzar Slovenia (OFFICIAL)
“Decision to Leave” Park Chan-wook South Korea (OFFICIAL)
“Alcarràs” Carla Simón Spain (OFFICIAL)
“Boy from Heaven” Tarik Saleh Sweden (OFFICIAL)
“A Piece of Sky” Michael Koch Switzerland (OFFICIAL)
“Goddamned Asura” Lou Yi-an Taiwan (OFFICIAL)
“Tug of War” Amil Shivji Tanzania (OFFICIAL)
“One for the Road” Nattawut Poonpiriya Thailand (OFFICIAL)
“Under the Fig Trees” Erige Sehiri Tunisia (OFFICIAL)
“Kerr” Tayfun Pirselimoğlu Turkey (OFFICIAL)
“Tembele” Morris Mugisha Uganda (OFFICIAL)
“Klondike” Maryna Er Gorbach Ukraine (OFFICIAL)
“Winners” Hassan Nazer United Kingdom (OFFICIAL)
“The Employer and the Employee” Manolo Nieto Uruguay (OFFICIAL)
“The Box” Lorenzo Vigas Venezuela (OFFICIAL)
“578 Magnum” Lương Đình Dũng Vietnam (OFFICIAL)

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: “Drive My Car” (Japan) – dir. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

About Variety Awards Circuit:

Variety’s unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year’s awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes — Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety’s leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.

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Monica has a BA in Journalism and English from the University of Massachusetts and an MS in Journalism and Communications from Quinnipiac University. Monica has worked as a journalist for over 20 years covering all things entertainment. She has covered everything from San Diego Comic-Con, The SAG Awards, Academy Awards, and more. Monica has been published in Variety, Swagger Magazine, Emmy Magazine, CNN, AP, Hidden Remote, and more. For the past 10 years, she has added PR and marketing to her list of talents as the president of Prime Entertainment Publicity, LLC. Monica is ready for anything and is proudly obsessed with pop culture.

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